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European shares fall on Hong Kong unrest, Trump's disappointing trade comments

European shares fall on Hong Kong unrest, Trump's disappointing trade comments
FILE PHOTO: Traders work at their desks whilst screens show market data at CMC Markets in London, Britain, January 16, 2019. REUTERS/John Sibley -
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JOHN SIBLEY(Reuters)
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(Reuters) – European shares retreated from four-year highs on Wednesday, as a highly anticipated speech by U.S. President Donald Trump gave no new clues on the progress of a trade deal with China, and as anti-government protests in Hong Kong raged on, denting sentiment.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index <.STOXX> fell 0.2% after positive German investor sentiment data and a slew of upbeat earnings had helped it scale highs not seen since 2015 on Tuesday.

Banks <.SX7P> as well as trade sensitive auto <.SXAP> and mining sectors <.SXPP> were among the biggest decliners, along with media-related stocks <.SXMP>.

Satellite company SES <SESFd.PA> slumped after a JP Morgan downgrade to neutral, while German commercial broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 <PSMGn.DE> slid 2.5% after Italy’s Mediaset <MS.MI> said it could increase its stake in the German peer, but ruled out a full takeover.

Spanish stocks <.IBEX> led losses among regional peers as investors were doubtful of a new coalition between Socialists and far-left Unidas Podemos formed on Tuesday. The unexpectedly fast preliminary agreement was formed between two parties that recently refused to work together.

(Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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